Rialto Theatre

1625 North Franklin Street,
Tampa, FL 33602

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Rialto Theatre, Tampa FL

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The former Rialto Theatre opened on North Franklin Street in 1926. It has been in use as an auto repair shop for many years, but this was closed in late 2005. The stagehouse still retains a “ghost” of the painted sign reading “Rialto Theatre”.

Contributed by John Evans

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 9, 2007 at 11:08 am

Listed in the 1941 & 1943 editions on Film Daly Yearbook with a seating capacity of 375. The 1950 edition of Film Daily Yearbook lists it as the Cinema, 1625 N. Franklin Street, Tampa, FL with a seating capacity given as 530.

historictheatresintampa on August 31, 2008 at 12:30 pm

Please provide any stories or information that you might have about this theatre (or any single-screen theatre in Tampa) here… http://historictheatresintampa.blogspot.com
This will assist us in preserving the history surrounding these theatres in Tampa. Thank you!!

Jorge on October 19, 2009 at 2:53 pm

This is SO awesome…never knew a theater was there! Love this site! The site of the abandoned area is visually “haunting” in its own way.

Nunzienick on April 24, 2010 at 3:52 am

I had seen a really nice photo showing a crowd of people lined up outside awaiting entrance to a movie called “Hotel Berlin” What’s unique about this photo is that it shows the name of this theatre had apparently been changed from Rialto to The Cinema. But now I can’t seem to find this photo anywhere! I thought it was part of the photo collection at the library but it’s not listed within the collection. If it was ever part of the collection then it’s been removed. If I ever see it again I’ll post it.

Here’s another view of the building taken on 11/19/31:
View link

And another view taken on 5/2/25:
View link

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 25, 2010 at 10:14 pm

Beautiful pictures,Just got in from working BEAUTY and the BEAST what a killer show. Almost a five hour out.I mean Killer show,nothing went right Backstage,Charlie knows. Catch you later nick,this old stagehand is beat to the DAWG BONE.

Nunzienick on May 27, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Here’s the photo I was searching for. A crowd awaits entrance to “HOTEL BERLIN” in 1945.
Note the banner now signifying the name change to Cinema.
View link

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 27, 2010 at 9:36 pm

Love the pictures,Nick. I saw the “JAWS” AD with Bill.Great.

AndyCallahanMajorMajor on December 23, 2010 at 2:58 am

I visited the Rialto again last week. I was able to get inside the theater and take a look around. It’s still being used as a warehouse and has more or less been gutted. The projection window is still visible, as is the giant arch over the stage. My two interior and two exterior shots are visible here.

Nunzienick on February 3, 2011 at 2:25 am

Just saw your posting Andy. Great shots! You were lucky to have gotten inside. Nice shot of the proscenium arch…looks like the theatre had a nice-size screen. I drive down Florida Avenue at least once a week when I leave downtown. I always look towards the rear of the building as I pass by and see the faded “Rialto Theatre” lettering painted at the top rear. As much as I would love to see the interior I never had the nerve to park and walk to the building with all those unsavory characters lurking about in that area. I’m glad to hear the building is at least being used and not abandoned to deteriorate further. Thanks for the photos!

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 7, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Great shots Andy,glad I am checking on my Tampa theatres today,a lot of NEW pictures to enjoy.You are right about Downtown areas Nick,Be careful guys.

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